Pete and Debbie are both about to turn 40, their kids hate each other, both of their businesses are failing, they're on the verge of losing their house, and their relationship is threatening to fall apart.
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Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are turning 40. But instead of celebrating, they're mired in a mid-life crisis with unruly kids, debt and unhappiness mounding. Pete's record label is failing and Debbie is unable to come to terms with her aging body. As Pete's 40th birthday party arrives, Pete and Debbie are going to have to rely on family, friends, employees, fitness trainers, aging rockers and ultimately each other to come to terms with life at age 40. Written by
Wow, this film seems to be generating a lot of hostility: I am not quite sure what's behind it. I guess people went into this expecting a sitcom-like, snappy feel good film, like 40 Year Old Virgin? Or goofy, happy-go-lucky characters such as Seth Rogen's posse in Knocked Up? Did these people not see Funny People? I am all in favor of letting Mr. Apatow develop as a director. To be clear here: this film follows Pete and Debbie's story arc from a few years after the events in Knocked Up. The are both turning 40, and neither is handling it particularly gracefully, but they weren't handling their lives and relationships particularly well in the earlier film. I found this movie to have a Larry David Show quality to it: however irrationally and offensively our protagonists behave, there are always others who will go them one better (or worse). Yes, Debbie and Pete are defective human beings; but so, I would argue, are all the people inhabiting this world, excepting the very gentlemanly Graham Parker (and Billie Joe Armstrong). Such is the stuff of comedy. Are these caricatures? Surely, and yet they are caricatures of realities which I see every day. Is the teenage daughter given to histrionics? You bet, but that is what teenagers are like, and the fact remains that teenagers turn their parents into equally irrational and histrionic characters in that relationship; I actually found it refreshing to find a teenager in a movie, played by a teenager, who isn't a wisecracking savant commenting on the follies of her elders.
To sum up, this felt to me like a mature work from a good director. There are moments of farce, slapstick, and outrageous humor, surrounded by moments where things just happen. For people who can't handle that kind of pacing, you are welcome to stay out of movie theaters, and sit in front of your TV sets: the networks are sure to have plenty of non-challenging sitcoms that are specially designed to pander to you.
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